Flathead National Forest

While many people vacation in Whitefish, Montana for its great access to Glacier National Park, even more wilderness waits to be explored in surrounding areas. Bordered by Glacier National Park to the north and east, Flathead National Forest covers an additional 2,346,000 acres, all within easy access to the charming town of Whitefish.

Exploring Flathead National Forest

Situated in the Rocky Mountains, Flathead National Forest is packed with scenic views and rugged terrain waiting to be explored. Set out on a memorable journey among the lakes, rugged wilderness, wild rivers, over 2,000 miles of trails, campgrounds, and ski areas that comprise the Flathead National Forest.

Whether you want to be physically challenged by the rugged terrain or simply take in the views, there’s something for every nature lover on the grounds of Flathead National Forest. Those interested in wildlife can keep their hopes up for big game sightings such as bear, elk, moose, big horn sheep, mule and whitetail deer, and Rocky Mountain goats. Smaller creatures such as songbirds, hawks, eagles, owls, gophers, chipmunks, beaver, porcupine, woodchucks, rabbits, and squirrels are commonly sighted from the trail, so keep your camera on hand!

With lakes and rivers weaving their way through the Flathead National Forest, there are plenty of opportunities for enjoying a waterside picnic or cooling off after a tough hike. Some of the larger lakes such as Swan Lake and Tally Lake even accommodate larger ski boats, allowing activities such as water skiing. While there are plenty of spots to unlace your hiking boots and dip your toes in, if you’re hoping for more of a swim, consider stopping at one of the popular swimming sites such as the Tally Lake Campground beach area, the Hungry Horse Reservoir developed sites, Lion Lakes (North and South), Ashley Lake Boat site, Holland Lake day use, and Swan Lake day use areas. Another popular water activity is floating the North Fork, Middle Fork, and portions of the South Fork of the Flathead River. Plan a DIY excursion or consider booking a guided float with operators such as Glacier Guides and Montana Raft.

With thousands of miles of hiking trails as your disposal, Flathead National Forest is a hiker’s paradise. Consider exploring some of the trails in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area, where you won’t have to share the trail with bikers, horse riders, or ATVs. This area includes 35 miles of trails, 27 lakes, and countless views!

Book Accommodations Near Flathead National Forest

Offered through us at I Love Whitefish, our Whitefish, MT vacation rentals will put you in great proximity to enjoying all that Flathead National Forest has to offer! Contact us!

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